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Mixed Bag at Scales and Shells Newport RI

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I am vacationing in Newport this week and wanted to report on a meal @ Scales and Shells on Thames that was excellent if not marred by the ridiculous actions of the head chef that will keep me from returning.

Went with a party of six, we ordered four apps, two orders of clams in a garlic and white wine sauce and two in "Roberto" red sauce. All were excellent. A very good start to a good meal.

The problems arose when we received our entree's. My wife ordered the wood grilled lobster and while the tail was cooked through and very flavorful when she cracked the claw it dropped out looking more like lobster jelly than cooked lobster. We called the waitress over and she was very accommodating and understanding. When she brought the lobster back to the open kitchen I caught the tension between waitress and chef immediately and then noticed that the chef was in fact staring down my wife as if it was her fault the lobster was returned. This behavior continued throughout our meal. When the lobster was returned to our table half of the originally cracked claw meat was missing, and the chef who was watching my wife's every move (and she was visibly upset that her $30 dinner was such a fiasco) called the waitress over and slammed down a piece of the lobster shell that remained on the counter and said "tell her the meat is on the fucking plate." Every time I looked towards to kitchen the chef was staring us down. Bizarre

The waitress was amazing, she didn't comp the lobster but removed half of the charge from the bill, and comped us desert and coffee. She apologized profusely, but the one that really owed as an apology was the chef who continued to try to stare us down and intimidate us even as we left, and even while we were standing outside the door waiting for a guest to return from the bathroom. It was truly bizarre.

Some advice for you chef.
1. If this was the first time food has been returned to you, get used to it, it will happen again. Especially if you serve undercooked shellfish.

2. If you have an open kitchen it would behoove you to behave a little more appropriately with your staff. I felt embarrassed for you as you dressed down a waitress who was doing an excellent job.

3. An open kitchen is designed for you to show off your skill, and the quality of your craft not to allow you to attempt to intimidate your customers. This whole thing was truly laughable.

I have never used this forum to respond to, or comment on the behavior of a chef, waitress, hostess etc but in this case it was too egregious to ignore.

PS. The food was quite good, my striped bass was excellent.

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  1. Why not confront him? Sounds like a very bizarre person...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Sean

      I considered it but it isn't really my style to confront someone when the only outcome is going to be bad, the women was a little out there and while it pissed me off I decided to let it ride rather than cause a scene. If the waitress hadn't been so accommodating perhaps I would have.

      1. re: ChickenBrocandZiti

        That is a shame that you had to have that experience. Hopefully it will not sour you on Newport. I live over the bridge and can attest to many nice restaurants in Newport, that includes both service and food quality. At least your server treated you well. If you get the opportunity, both Castle Hill Inn and Rhumbline are two very nice restaurants in Newport...